PTI MNAs resignations: LHC suspends ECP order

LAHORE (INP): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday suspended the order of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to accept the resignations of 43 MNAs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The court stopped by-elections in 43 constituencies until next order. It also issued a notice to the ECP and other parties and sought their reply. Justice Shahid Karim heard the petition of 43 former PTI MNAs including Riaz Fatyana. Riaz Fatyana appeared before the court with his lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar who argued before the court that legal requirements had not been met for the acceptance of resignations.
“Tell! Which legal requirement has not been met?” Justice Shahid Karim asked. At this, Barrister Ali Zafar explained about the legal procedure for accepting resignation. The National Assembly (NA) speaker, ECP, and the federal government had been made respondents in the petition. The NA speaker’s notifications of January 22 and the ECP’s notifications of January 25 had been challenged in the petition. It was stated in the petition that 43 PTI MNAs had written a letter to the NA speaker for the withdrawal of resignations on January 23 last.
“The speaker did not conduct an inquiry under the Constitution before accepting the resignations,” Barrister Ali Zafar argued before the court. “The MNAs had not appeared before the speaker to have their resignations accepted,” he added. “The speaker cannot accept resignations without hearing the MNAs,” he stated. “The court should declare null and void the acceptance of the resignations of the petitioners on behalf of the speaker and the ECP,” he demanded.